Low-light photography is one of the more challenging aspects when taking pictures, writes Joseph Cheung


WHAT do you do if you do not have any flash or LED light with you in a low-light situation? What’s worse is when you have them with you but are strictly prohibited to use them.

Take note that low-light photography is not restricted to just night photography alone. It could be an indoor environment where you have poor ambient light and the subjects are hardly visible to the naked eye.

Today, I would like to share some of my images taken in various low-light conditions and environments. I hope it will give you some ideas in your journey to better photography.


1. Festival

When you are at a festival which is held at night, be prepared to wait for the right moment to capture an image like this. Try not to use the flash even if you have one as it will kill the mood of the image. If flash is used, everything will be lighted up and you’ll have a flat image. Depending on the situation, try reducing the exposure to just enable the face to be seen while not over-exposing the fire.


2. Street

If you’re in a dark surrounding with a light source like this, you can get a good moment if you wait for a subject to appear. This will make the image more interesting. Look for water puddles where you can get the reflection of the subject.


3. Portrait

Using just the available light, I captured this yawning old man in Guilin, China. The surrounding area was dim and it was generally difficult to get good results. However, by just requesting the subject to move to the next available light source, I managed to get a more desirable result.


4. Nature

Normally, a Natural Density filter will be used to get a photo like this. However, as it was pretty dim, I used a sturdy tripod and captured the smooth-flowing stream at 1/2sec.


5. Landscape

This photo was taken at 5am local time where I could hardly see the mountain in the background. By using long exposure, 13 seconds to be exact, I got an image as if it was taken during day time. The only available source of light in this image was from the surrounding houses, with the light striking the surrounding lawn, just enough for me to focus on.

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